Re: Creating Online KM Course - Requesting Input #KM101 #learning


Hi Cindy


I taught the same course with Barbara at UMUC (now Univ of Maryland Global Campus).  I was frustrated by the text book we were forced to use because it focused so much on the academic and theoretical side and little on the practical and measurable application of concept and theory to real life business challenges and problems.  I could tell from the majority of students in my class that they were disconnected from what KM is and can be in use because of this mostly academic focus.  Granted, some basic understanding of KM history is needed,  but what the class really wanted, as do many clients when introduced to KM is what is the value of KM, how can it help in a specific situation (adapt to context), and why should I invest my time and organization resources in this.  Not all students were taking the course to focus as many were filling n academic requirement. This must also be considered. Interest in KM value can be developed. Perhaps case study format would be most effective combining concept and theory with practice as well as with KM problem and case simulation.









Learn more about the solutions and value we provide at



From: <> On Behalf Of Cindy Young via
Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 2020 16:54
Subject: Re: [SIKM] Creating Online KM Course - Requesting Input #kmers


Hello, again, Barbara,


As I mentioned last night, I will be keeping it at a basic level with my target audience being professionals just starting in a KM career or people who just want to learn about KM basic in general.  I am not looking at the university audience or any certification. I have taught Project Management for three years at a local university, but also taught and led in the Navy. Both opportunities had a lot of KM applications so I thought creating this course would help to expose people to what KM is at a basic level and how to use it in their careers.


I agree about staying away from the abstract but do want to expose the participants to Polanyi and Nonaka for extremely small, introductory purposes. I am in total agreement with you on making this course as practical as possible.  I want to ensure that whoever is interested in this can benefit from it which is why I am focusing this course on the basic level for KM beginners or those who have an interest in it.  If this course goes well, I may create an intermediate course, but I figure this course will take me at least four months (just an estimate).


Thank you and I genuinely appreciate your input. I see a lot of similarities in our thinking about this. :-)





On Mon, May 25, 2020 at 8:48 PM Barbara Fillip <barbara.fillip@...> wrote:

Hi Cindy,

The answer to your question probably depends on your target audience, including the participants' backgrounds and motivation to learn.  Is this class part of a program where they have to take this class to graduate or is it totally independent and the participants have selected this course?  Do they need to understand enough of KM to understand its value and potentially become KM champions within their organizations or do they need to understand enough of KM to become KM managers?  With one course, it's unlikely they will be adequately equipped to become KM managers, but there are lots of people in KM roles who have no specific KM education.  


I have taught KM online for undergrads in the past in a business/management program and I also teach KM to graduate students in a face-to-face workshop format for the Organization Development and Knowledge Management (ODKM) Program at George Mason University.  The syllabus is online, though if the course needs to be moved online in the fall, I will have to make adjustments.   Again, this syllabus was developed to meet a specific set of needs within a broader program.  I also created content for what was meant to be an online course on KM for project managers, with recorded mini-lectures and activities.  That's gathering virtual dust on my hard drive. 


Regardless of format or audience, I'd stay away from anything too abstract and theoretical.  Polaniy and Nonaka in small doses, explained, not just as readings, because in my experience, few students/participants will do any serious readings.  Keep it simple. My biggest mistakes in teaching KM have been around trying to do too much and making things too complex.  So, I'm going back to where I started this message.  You need to start with the students/participants and where they are.  Until you know who they are, how much they already know (or don't know) and why they are in the class, it's difficult to tell where to start and what to cover.  Make it as real, concrete, and practical as possible.  KM can be presented as a fluffy thing with a lot of kumbaya around the value of knowledge sharing and there are so many KM tools and techniques to present that it easily becomes overwhelming. 


Happy to discuss further once I have a better understanding of the target audience for the course and the online modalities. 



Barbara Fillip






On Mon, May 25, 2020 at 4:29 PM Cindy Young <cjbutler97@...> wrote:

Hello!  I am creating an online KM course for beginning professionals on their KM journeys.

I am starting it off with some history on KM (for instance, Polanyi, Nonaki), basics on tacit and explicit dimensions, terminology: knowledge sharing, transfer, creation, knowledge sharing networks/CoPs, and knowledge mapping,..but I just don't want to get too deep since this is a beginners course.  I will be doing videos for it with pdf transcripts. I would also like to highlight some of the more experienced people in KM in video interviews for this course.

  • I haven't decided on how many modules I will have, but what do you consider are the most essential ideas beginning KM professionals may be looking for to do their jobs?
  • What concepts for beginners would best help them get set up for success?

Thank you for any and all feedback!


Dr. Cindy Young, PMP, LSSMBB, CMQ/OE
CJ Young Consulting 



Dr. Cindy Young, PMP, LSS MBB, CMQ/OE

Join to automatically receive all group messages.